I’m trying very hard to stay focused
on the ministry God has set me at task to do. And it’s not hard work when you
love it, it’s just hard staying focused when you don’t always feel valued.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. I just thought perhaps this might help someone else
today too. God even gave me a song to go with the feelings on my heart today,
so I’m feeling blessed, in the midst of being stressed. You know what I mean? It’s
those days when the world tells you title + money = value. And the lack thereof
And then I read verses like Romans
Nay but, O man, who
art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that
formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make
one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Did that hit you as hard as it hit me?
Who am I to tell God Almighty that the one he created (me) isn’t of value and
suggest that my purpose isn’t valued. It is God who honors or dishonors and I can
tell you flat footed and bold faced that God honors those who serve. And by
service, I’m not necessarily speaking of preachers, deacons and such, although they
are included. But by service I mean anyone who:
Draws a breath and thanks Him for it.
Gives a glass of water in His name, cup
of coffee, or a jar of scrumptious pears – Mr. and Mrs. Eisley.
Shares the most precious of gift with
someone in need, time.
Tells a child that they’re amazing and
Prays for someone because, or just
Tells someone “I understand.” Or “I
don’t understand, but I’ll try.”
I realize the world doesn’t always understand why Christians do what they do, and some days there are Christians who don’t understand why we do what we do or see little value in it. But it’s God who gives the honor and it is He who has the power to mold us into something amazing. Sometimes He does that by making a little mud with the tears in our lives. It makes the clay more pliable. I hope this word encouraged you today. God sees. And He will honor you in His time.
We do not cross paths in life by happenstance, of that I’m certain.
While we may be there by circumstance, it’s not by happenstance (coincidence). I
look back on my 57 years, with a primary focus on the past twenty-three, those
are the years since salvation; my formative years of serving Christ in the capacity
of me which lead into The Jesus Chick which came to be in about 2005ish. I’m
not very good at dates, but I’m very good at events that made a difference. There are things that happen and people who
cross our paths that leave us saying “I’ll never be the same.”
When my brother was killed when I was ten years old, it
forever changed my outlook of life on earth as to whether or not it was
forever. It was not. At the time however I didn’t understand it all, I only understood
that life was very, very sad and I couldn’t fix it. And I tried in my 10 year
old state of mind to fix it by living in altered realities called my
imagination. It’s what makes me weird and okay in a world that I still can’t
fix. It’s not always healthy. It sometimes leads to not facing reality as one
should. True story. Don’t judge me. 😊
I had another one of those bell ringing moments this morning
as I read a social media post of a friend who just lost her father. One of the
things that made a deep impression on her was the number of people who came up
to her at her father’s service and said “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for
the fact that your dad never gave up on me.”
We need some more Gene Duerksen’s in the world.
But even in a world where there’s a shortage of Gene
Duerksen’s, and we often miss out on taking advantage of those that we do meet
who encourage us in the battle of life, I was reminded through the word of God this
morning that there is one will forever spur us on! Gene Duerksen now see’s Him
face to face…
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him that loved us.
How many times have I attempted to fly and sometimes crash
landed and other times succeeded but with no witnesses for review? Many. But
how many times have saints of God had faith in me even when I had none and
cheered me on or gave me words of advice and encouragement. Too many to count. I’m still privileged to that.
Lynn Stoneking’s testimony of her dad’s character of encouragement
reminds me that I too have the opportunity to never give up. Not on my kids,
grandkids, friends, family and me. Because God will never give up, so how can
I? Did you need that word today? He doesn’t give up on you either! Share this
post. Tell a friend or family member you believe in them. Shoot me a message
and let me know I’ve encouraged you. We need to share and care for each other.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. ~ Romans 24-25
I’m pretty sure I have the best teen group in the nation. If you’re a teen leader, you probably think so too… or you should. They stretch me with my idealistic notions of what faith looks like, by granting me the new generations perspective. Just when I think I have it all figured out, we get into a deep (or sometimes shallow) theological discussion and I have one of those “You are not as smart as you thought you were, Shari,” moments. They are really quite frequent if I’m honest.
But last night’s ill prepared teen lesson was on “restoration” of the body of Christ. We skimmed the tops of scriptures about Peter, David, Saul and others whose failures sometimes lead to renpentance and sometimes not. But God’s love of broken people is evident from Genesis to Revelation.
The one glaring fact that comes from muddy pink boots, is that no matter how the world dresses up sin, dirt is still dirt. It aint pretty. The lesson that I learned from my diverse group of thinkers in the teen group last night was, children, (like God) are so quick to forgive the people they care about. And so quick to move on from mistakes understanding that they’re learning! I’m not so quick to move on. I sometimes put my pretty muddy pink boots in the corner as a reminder about that time I didn’t go around the mud, but walked right through it. I walk by my failed attempt at life and kick myself. I try buying a new pair of boots, but they’re not fun to wear, because i really want to wear the pink ones.
I know that’s a very odd parable. But what I hope you learn is what I did: Restoration also has to be done within. Especially if we’re not apt to share the fact that our boots are muddy to start with. Christians seldom want anyone else to know what they struggle with for fear of being seen as “less godly.” Well let me tell, I am for certain less godly. And I struggle with lots of “stuff.” I have a tender heart willing to forgive everyone but me. God is showing me through the youth who love me faults and all, that He does too.
I need to clean off those pink books and get back to walking.
How about you? Do you struggle with self degradation and unforgiveness. Maybe your boots are another color, but they’ll clean up just as nicely if you’ll spray them down with the water of the Word.
Today is Friday, August 30th,
2019. Winding down and the summer and heading into fall. Much like I feel about
life right now! How did I get here, you know… 57 years after the picture of me graffitiing
my Mother’s belly? Time is swift and not for the faint of heart. Beauty is
fleeting, it’s a good thing I never felt that I had it. (Not asking for
compliments or pity, just being real). It wasn’t something that I put a lot of
stock in as a young person.
Now I attempt to beautimitize myself
(totally a made up word) as I travel about and I am concerned a little more
about the flavor of style when I’m up in front of people. But none of the frilliness
of life ever interested me or caused me to want to do make up tutorials and
style videos. Those things were not things I was purposed to do.
My immediate family consists of a
dozen, myself and husband, two grown daughters with husbands, and six growing
grandchildren. Five boys and one girl. The little girl I get… I raised two of
them, the five boys! Oh my stars they are so different from girls for obvious
and not so obvious reasons. But mostly because God designed their hearts
differently from the womb. So when I read a verse like Romans 9:11 it causes me
to ponder what God will do with them, and me!
(For the children being not
yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God
according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;)
It draws me back to one of my
favorite verses, Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed thee in the
belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified
thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
For me, that verse answers the
abortion debate. Before we were even in the belly, God had a plan for us. So,
nobody will ever tell me that a little fella or gal in the beginning stages of
formation in the momma’s womb isn’t somebody. They were somebody, before they
were a body! Glory!
But back to my point of God’s
While I would love it if my plan
for each of my children and grandchildren were God’s plan, I have to look at
the very real potential that it’s not. But understanding that their potential
is God’s to do with what He will.
Paul was teaching the Romans, and
the Jewish people in these passages, that no one can claim to be chosen by God
because of his or her heritage or good works. God chooses who He desires to
choose to use, and He uses those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as
Savior. Jew or Gentile. God uses them all. He can use anyone lost or saved to
accomplish a task, but no one will live up to their potential unless their in
Three Prayers for my dozen
So that is my first prayer for those
that I love and myself. A right relationship with the Lord. It’s the beginning
of every good plan.
My second prayer is the will of
God for our lives. As I said, “I have many ideas about direction for theses
kids.” But if I project my plan onto their life, I may have them headed down a
road to destruction. So, I have to leave well enough alone, and boy is that
hard! But what I always fail to remember is that it’s hard enough to keep myself
in check with God. I’d do well to leave everyone else to Him before I rurally
mess things up.
And my final prayer is that our
potential is made known so that God can be glorified through us. It’s where I
feel parents (myself included) can discourage their children and their selves. Trying
to put anyone into a position that God did not ordain for them, really is like
putting a square peg in a round hole. It will not work.
Social media is the bomb. Until
it explodes in our face. Looking at the seemingly perfect lives of people and
their staged photographs will put unrealistic goals into the minds of anyone.
Yes, me too! I follow artists, speakers, singers and I love it! But then I hate
it. Because I begin comparing myself to their look, style, design and I feel
like an unworthy dirt dog.
I need to stop. If you’re doing
that, you need to stop.
That crazy baby in the womb, who
loves graffiti. That’s me for realsy. I need to love her. And so that’s my
prayer for all my peeps. Let God be true, and social media a liar. He
determines our destiny. Not the numbers or the masses.
you had to describe your state of mind, pre-salvation what one word would you
would use the word “tumultuous.” Meaning unbridled and unrestrained. I wasn’t
connected to anything solid and so I was flailing around like a windsock going
what ever direction the wind blew me in. I didn’t have direction and things
good or bad seemed to jolt me into a new direction without any thought to where
I was going.
think about your world pre-salvation for just a second. What did it look like?
to the knowledge of who we are in Christ is a game changer for the child of God
who happens to be in a place where they can grow in grace and under discipleship
and solid doctrine. But prior to that life seems to be …
birth we have a disconnect from the Creator. The reason I could be jolted in
any direction was because my wires were not connected.
thought the definition of “short circuit” was fitting for a person of a lost
[in a device, an
electrical circuit of lower resistance than that of a normal circuit, typically
resulting from the unintended contact of components and consequent accidental
diversion of the current.]
It was never God’s intention for
mankind to have contact with the low side of life. And once we were, we were diverted from God’s
control. We were severely disconnected. We fell short… as in “for all have
sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
What happens if you grab ahold of a
short circuited wire? Nothing good, right? We’re shocked. That too is a
reaction to sin. As a child we know when we’ve done wrong. We generally feel bad
about the transgression, even thought we seldom confess. The more we do it, is
like getting shocked by low does of electricity. We get used to it. Maybe our
nerves get seared and no longer feel the guilt that we once did for committing
sin. So in order to get a jolt that makes a difference, usually something drastic
has to take place.
What took place in Paul’s life that
made such a drastic difference?
as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about
him a light from heaven: And he fell to the
earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou
persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And
he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the
Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what
thou must do. And the men which
journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man:
but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.And
he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
I love reading the story of Saul becoming Paul. That’s what
happens when we reconnect with God. We become an entirely new person!
speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye
have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto
iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto
Paul is helping the Romans to understand that he understands. He totally gets
where they came from. Prior to salvation they were following their sinful
fleshly ways, but now, there should be something new that they have a connection
to – righteousness. They should be drawn to it.
says “And, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
for that drawing.
illustration of drawing electricity is the power between water and static electricity.
It’s in a like manner that we are drawn to Christ. The Water of life! But also prior to salvation, you were not only short circuited there was a
when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
sin that was in our lives is what kept us from coming to Christ. We felt the
draw, but there was a break in the connection. Sometimes ever after the jolt of
reality that we’re lost, it’s years and years before people come to Christ.
do you think that is?
are probably as many excuses as there are stars in the sky, but the truth of
the matter is rebellion. It’s the same reason that Satan and the angels fell.
Everybody wants to be in charge. The ol’ “You are not the boss of me attitude.”
a funny comment when a parent says “I brought you into this world and I can
take you out.” But that’s illegal. Else it might happen more often. But with God
it’s very much the truth! He kicked Satan and his crew out of Heaven, and He
will now allow those who have rejected His authority to be in Heaven.
fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of
those things is death.But
now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit
unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
conduct electrical current very easily because of their free electrons. Insulators
oppose electrical current and make poor conductors. Common conductors and
would be a conductor of the Christian faith?
teachers, social media posts, evangelists, ministers of the gospel, songs…
many! You and I, if we’re doing what we should are conductors of the power of
God. People see it in our lives, we touch people with our actions and words,
just like the wires that carry electricity. We too can jolt people into the
reality that they need Christ. They may break the circuit by rejecting it, but
they can’t stop us from sharing it. Because we are
For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
decision to accept what Christ did on the cross creates within us a hardwire to
the Lord. We can’t disconnect from it.
Verses of reminder:
John 10:27-29 – My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
John 6:37 – All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
John 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.
John 5:24 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.
Jude 1:24 – Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
1 John 5:13 – These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
2 Corinthians 1:22 – Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Romans 8:38-39 – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:
It’s important for us to remind
ourselves that God is in charge of the connection. Not us. We might walk away
from God, but He will never walk away from us.
He will continue to call His
children home when they stray. Because that’s how He loves us.
is hard to understand. We want it, we attempt to give it, sometimes tongue and
cheek (meaning we forgive but never forget). We, I speak collectively, though I
really mean me, when I say I often think I’ve messed up past the point of being
offered grace, because life sometimes just flat out stinks.
life gets hard, this Jesus Chick is not so spiritual as to immediately ask the
question, “What is God teaching me in this moment?” That would sound really
good and churchy wouldn’t it? No, I’m
more apt to ask the question, “How long will I be here, Lord?”
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we
have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of
the glory of God.
So much is missed in the midst of a struggle. And life is full of
struggles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us that as people of faith (those who
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ) we have access to some things the world is
Access to Peace
There’s a difference between access and acceptance. It’s the same
as salvation, we’re all offered it; but if we don’t accept it, we’ll never experience
it. There is a difference in the end result. Those with salvation will go
Heaven whether they experience the benefits of salvation here on earth or not.
The journey is just a lot more difficult. But those who never accept salvation
are headed to Hell.
I’m not surprised when children of God don’t have peace in the
middle of a storm. Because I’ve been there too. It’s usually a matter of feeling
worthy or letting myself get too far down before looking up. If there’s sin or other
failures in our lives, we don’t feel worthy. Even though neither will keep you
from peace if you talk to God about it. As children of God, it’s ours for the
That’s just the kind of Lord He is.
Access to Grace
I love the acronym for G.r.a.c.e. = God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.
Isn’t that amazing? There’s nothing we can do to earn it. It is however what
makes me be the person I am. I was born with a servants attitude and when God
saved me from the Devil’s Hell, my gratitude went toward servitude.
Grace will do that if you strive to understand it. Many Christians
miss the mark because they’re not in God’s word, they’re not in church and so they
cannot fully comprehend what the Lord did for them. I sometimes avoid the truth
of it myself, because I can’t imagine the degree of pain and humiliation my
Lord took upon Himself for someone like me who adds more too it when I fail Him.
The shame wasn’t only on the day of the crucifixion. It’s on us
when we blatantly fail God, knowing what He did for us. But the grace is still
there. That’s why it’s amazing.
Access to Joy
It’s what we can experience even in times of sorrow. The loss of a
loved one is gut wrenching, but the knowledge that they were saved and now in
the presence of Jesus brings great joy!
The struggles we face are never pleasurable, but the victory is
always a joyous moment and made that much sweeter because of the struggle. We realize
the strength that we have from knowing Christ as Savior. The unsaved may
experience moments of victory, but not as the child of God. Knowing that there
was Someone standing beside us all the way and there was never a reason to feel
alone. That is joy! He has our back here and He’s waiting for us there!
Access to Hope
Not just hope, but we need always reminded that the peace, grace,
joy and hope are always for the glory of God. It’s a privilege only afforded a
child of the King. I wrote on hope yesterday. It’s a subject I could write on
everyday and never grow weary because I need it. I need to know that my aches
and pains, those of the physical, mental and spiritual nature will someday be
lifted whether here or Heaven.
Maybe you needed to know that too. If I’ve encouraged you, let me
know! If I can pray for you, let me know that too. We’re here to be the hands,
feet and sometimes words of Jesus. Use us Lord!
totally get the anxiety and frustration that Abraham and Sarah may have been
feeling. They’d been promised a child, but then, as it does, age crept upon
them from no where and low and behold they found themselves past the fruit
was 90 for cryin’ out loud and Abraham 100. It was a dark day in the land of
Canaan when Abraham continued to believe in the promise that God had given him.
With the point being, he never gave up hoping.
our problem. We lose hope.
4:18 says of Abraham:
Who against hope believed
in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that
which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
There’s nothing like age to make you feel unfruitful.
With every passing year new aches and pains are introduced and your children
start “calling to check on you,” or asking you if you think you’ll “feel up to
it.” Good grief! It’s not that I’m not very grateful that I raised such
concerned children, it’s just that I didn’t think I was that old. And then I
look in the mirror and the age lines that I used to consider laugh lines aren’t
so funny anymore.
Welcome to the silver years Shari. I’m not yet to
the golden years, although they’re drawing nigh.
If I trusted what the mirror says or what my
lying bones say, I’d take off my Jesus Chick hat and consider sitting back and
waiting for Jesus to come and fetch me. Those are physical things against the spiritual
realm of hope. And they are not the only things “against hope.”
Logic is often the enemy of hope. If Abraham had
looked at it logically, he wouldn’t have even put out the candles and turned the
radio onto soft music at 100. What chance did he have at conception with 90 year
This story gives me hope! See, I’m still waiting
for some fruit… not of the Isaac persuasion, but of the spiritual kind. I’m
waiting for God to do a great work in my ministry that will bear fruit for the Kingdom.
I’ve waited a while! But I’m not 100 yet.
Just as Abraham I’m believing in hope. Wouldn’t
it be a sad world with out it. Truth be told, it is a sad world. I’ve listened
to many speak without hope. It is generally the unsaved, but not always. None
of us are immune to losing hope. This world is filled with adversarial demons
to strip even the strongest of a good attitude.
Today I have hope, because today I’ve been in the
word and I’ve read myself happy. But a few days ago, as I traveled down the
highway, I looked in my rear view mirror and all I saw was lost opportunities,
failed attempts and I was in the previous state.
And Jesus said unto him,
No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit
for the kingdom of God.
If a ploughman doesn’t look forward, he won’t
make the proper furrows, nor do his work well. The same is true of the child of
God. If we are continually looking back to see where we’ve been, we might
assuredly miss where we’re going. We need to be forward thinking Christians. Always
looking for opportunity, not resting in the laurels of previous ones, or
sulking in the disaster of errors.
I can find myself sulking if I’m not careful.
Sarah delivered that bundle of hope and named him
Isaac, meaning laughter. There is great joy when hope is delivered.
What does that look like to you?
I know what it looks like to me. It’s a strange
delivery I’m waiting on…
That souls are saved and lives are changed.
That my ministry be viewed as a ministry, not a hobby
by those who should know better.
That it is financially sustaining for my family.
That may or may not sound like much to you. But
there are days when I look back at the furrows I’ve made, and my fruit is
sparse. I lose sight of where I know I’m supposed to go.
Just like the farmer who’s responsibility it is
the take care of the land, it’s ours to take responsibility for this land.
Starting at home and working our way out.
I can’t help but think about J. Vernon McGee:
Following cancer surgery in 1965 at the age of 61,
the doctors gave Dr. McGee six months to live. The Lord gave him 23 more years.
In 1967 he launched the radio program “Thru the Bible” which took 5 years. At its completion the program tapes continued to run, and Dr. McGee and his board determined that the program would run until the money ran out. Through generous contributors it’s still running today.
Dr. McGee died in 1988, falling asleep in his chair
and waking in the presence of Jesus. At the time of his death the bible program
aired in 34 languages, but has since been translated into over 100 and is broadcast
on Trans World
the world every weekday.
At the age of 63 Dr.
McGee continued ploughing and didn’t look back. He was a successful man of God,
but I love that what he deemed as his greatest compliment came at the beginning
His greatest compliment
As a student pastor, Dr. McGee’s first church sat on a red clay hill in Midway, Georgia. It was there he said he received his greatest compliment: “It was from a country boy wearing high buttoned, yellow shoes. After a morning service he came to speak to me. He groped for words, then blurted out, ‘I never knew Jesus was so wonderful!’ He started to say more but choked up and hurried out of the church. As I watched him stride across the field, I prayed, ‘Oh, God, help me to always preach so that it can be said, I never knew Jesus was so wonderful.’“
feel like it could be the title of a new Dr. Suess book.
Genesis to Revelation it is the same faith. But it certainly varies in the way
Testament saints had faith the Messiah would come, and they were charged with
setting forth the principles of New Testament Christianity. Speaking went from
a direct line of communication, when Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden…
can you imagine what that must have been like! And then following the fall and
rebellion of men, a priest would have the responsibility and accountability for
God’s children. Not a role to be taken lightly. Handled inappropriately would
mean certain death!
Spirit would come upon men like Moses, Jacob and others and it was no doubt an awe-inspiring
time. Most likely a little frightening too! It’s from their testimonies that we
can experience Old Testament faith.
What characters of the Old Testament
would you like to question? And what questions would you ask?
would have been your reaction if God had showed up in the burning bush to you? Or
wrestled with you as He did Jacob? Have you ever felt like you did wrestle with
forward to the New Testament and a whole new line of communication came when
Jesus, the Son of God walked the earth once again. But only for a short time.
Following His crucifixion and resurrection, that act of unconditional love would
humbly allow us, the nobody’s and the somebody’s to speak to God through the
I thought on this today, the images of the two different phones came into play.
The old faith and the new faith are still one faith. It’s still the same God on
the line. It’s just the way of communication differs.
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to
the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath
whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture?
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now
to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But
to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his
faith is counted for righteousness. Even
as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth
righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they
whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed
is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Testament faith was still faith even though they were keepers of the law. Or
attempted keepers of the law. 613 of
them. I can’t keep ten! Nor could they, so a sacrifice was put into place that
would be used year after year. Lamb after lamb. Slain as a picture of the Lord
Jesus Christ on the cross. Did they know that’s what it was? I don’t guess. But
they knew it was God’s design and their only hope at the time; and that it all
pointed, somehow, some way to the coming Messiah that they hoped for.
generation from the days of Adam hoped for.
think of that old phone as the Old Testament way of communication with God. There
was a line you had to go through. The Priest would go into the Holy of Holies
and God and he would converse about what the people needed to know. Then he
would deliver the message. We too experience that some through the preaching of
the Word of God. But the difference is we too can receive a word. That should
make you shout! That’s a privilege Old Testament, average Joe’s or Jolene’s
God showed up on the mountain, the children of Israel told Moses to go and talk
to Him on the mountain. They feared God way too much to want to hear from Him
all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the
trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed,
and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses,
Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we
you ever felt that fearful of God? Why or why not?
must wonder if some Christians still fear God’s voice. Many don’t even make the
attempt at communication, or at least not very often.
words of David used in Romans 4 are from the book of Psalms 32:2
Blessed is he whose transgression
is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old
through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy
upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I
acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will
confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time
when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not
come nigh unto him. Thou art
my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me
about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt
go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the
mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and
bridle, lest they come near unto thee.Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are
upright in heart.
David experienced God in a way few
people did then, or do now.
Why do you think that was so?
It certainly wasn’t because he was
perfect. He acknowledges that he’s a sinner.
Romans 3:23 says
have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
sin free, he was bold in his confession because he wanted a right relationship
with the Lord. He knew his relationship wasn’t right because he felt the heaviness
of God upon him.
felt that? What was going on at the time? Likely something that shouldn’t have
been going on at the time. It’s not a feeling we like but we should love it,
because it tells us that we’re saved.
comes from repentance.
his forgiveness and a renewed relationship with God when he repented,
acknowledged what he did and turned away from it.
should be so bold!
relationship with God caused him to take some actions. He trusted God’s
guidance for war, or not having war. He composed writings and songs, he played
music and was a mighty leader when his relationship was right with God. He was
bold in the faith? If not why?
Few in the Faith
As time goes on, our churches seem to be dwindling in size and number. I pass empty church houses with grown up lawns everywhere I go. It makes my heart heavy and very sad. Because I know at one point there may have been a thriving congregation in that place. But they lost their zeal and their desire to serve God. They also lost the best thing that ever happened to them.
I love missionaries and consider myself a missionary to the United States. When I see folks with burdens for other countries I wonder… when will some get a burden for our own.
a little over a month I’m traveling to New Mexico to minister in two different
churches, if not more. I’m praying the Lord opens doors for me there to
encourage the believers to be bold in their faith!
trip I ask that you’ll pray too. Pray that God will give me words and songs and
that a great Spirit of revival will come upon that place. Pray for our safe travels
and pray that our expenses are met.
For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual
gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual
faith both of you and me. ~ Romans 1:11-12
what’s kept me going for 23 years. I believe with all my heart that it is the
most undervalued superpower of the church today. It’s why pews are sitting
empty and saints of God are living defeated lives. God never intended for us to
go through this alone. Even He had 12 friends.
faith is a beautiful thing. Let me tell you what it looks like in my life.
Sunday morning I’m with the local church. A body of believers that I stand doctrinally
in agreement with. We don’t argue. Haven’t for the 23 years I’ve been there, (which
for some churches is unfathomable). We’ve not argued because we’ve had strong
leadership and a mutual desire to keep Christ as the Head of the church. He’s
in charge, then we fall in line accordingly – Pastor – Deacons – Church.
everyone is doing what they’ve been designed to do, you don’t want to do what
someone else has been called to do.
Saturday my heart begins to desire my Sunday morning time with God’s people. It’s
genuine and I know that I’m called to serve in that place in my multiple
positions. I don’t want anyone else’s! Believe me, God has placed enough on my
plate. That’s what He does when you share His mutual desires.
Victory Baptist church was established in 1992, it came to be out of heartache.
A church split that was never desired, causing division among God’s people,
which was never intended. I came on board 4 years later. After the dust had settled.
came in from a church that had been established for decades. A church that
loved each other but had lost their mutual desire. There was no Kingdom
purpose. No foundation. (I don’t say that lightly) it makes my stomach turn to
think about it. But it is unfortunately what is happening to most churches of
foundation of the church is to edify the body and seek souls to be saved. Victory
was built on soul winning, something we too have lost sight of over the years.
It’s easy to get complacent and become very comfortable with those we have.
sent thousands out from Pentecost. Can you imagine? These people in Rome were
of that lot and they were excited, and Paul was excited to meet them. He loved
where he was, but he desired to go where he had not been.
a lesson for us! I so desire to go where I have not been.
doesn’t matter where I go, I find those of mutual faith. Or perhaps God sends
them my way. I seldom ever go anywhere that I don’t meet up with God’s
husband David and I went on the hunt of yard sales in the city last weekend and
low and behold, one after another I met with God’s people. What a blessing!
drew strength from them. They perhaps did not even know it. Or maybe they too drew
strength from me.
the same token at those sales I also met people that my soul bore witness that
they did not know Christ. I feel like I missed the boat because I didn’t take
the time to tell them about Jesus. I have friends who you’ll not be in their presence,
but a few minutes and you’ll know that they have come to tell you about Jesus.
They do it unashamedly, with bold conviction!
have bold conviction, and a big mouth. I know that I’m failing to use my
spiritual gift to do what God designed me to do. Tell the world about Jesus…
don’t take lightly the web platform, after all, how many people has Paul
reached and continues to reach for the cause of Christ through the written
word. It too is a superpower. The point is, there is not only safety in numbers
there is power in numbers! Together we are an amazing team.
pray this has encouraged you! Feel free to share it and invite people to your
church. Let them know you’re a part of a great team too!
On my radar of hopes, prayers and desires for the past five or six
years has been an Albuquerque, NM trip, Not entirely for selfish reason, but I must
confess there is always some selfishness in my hopes and dreams, because they
become so very personal.
I will not say that my trip is in line with the desires of Apostle
Paul, because when Apostle Pauls said “by any means,” that was sometimes as a
prisoner on a boat with a shipwreck in the future! I am not that brave. And
while I would prefer a first-class flight, that’s a bit expensive too, so I opted
for a less than typical mode of transportation. The train. It’s a long trip,
but it’s much cheaper, and I think a little bit of an adventure. I’m always up
for that! Especially if it gets me in a new part of the country where God can
And so as I begin to study my way through the book of Romans, with
a heavy heart about more than a few things… this trip being one, Paul’s words
spoke to my already tender heart.
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel
of His Son, and without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; – Romans 1:9
God is my witness, that although I fail Him miserably and I will
not say that I pray without ceasing… I cease. But, I do serve Him with my
spirit in the gospel of His Son. I am passionate about my role in the Kingdom There’s
something about traveling that makes my heart flutter with joy, because I know
it will be an adventure and I know that if I go in His name and in His will, He
will make things happen.
Why Albuquerque? Good question. And it deserves an answer. It was
6 plus years ago that I connected through social media with Radio man Dewey
Moede. God was dealing with Dewey’s heart to leave his job and go full time
ministry. I was struggling with that same issue. I still am. Although I’m full
time, it’s not quite what I had in mind.
Kind of like when Paul’s boat hit that storm. I’m sure he would
have preferred even coach tickets. He wasn’t expecting first class. But what he
got was the prisoner’s pass. I’ve felt like that many times in the past 5
years. I’m not asking for sympathy, I don’t deserve it, I just want to be real.
Paul continued in verse 10 to say, making requests, if by
any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to
come unto you.
And there it was. The train trip (at length) made sense, and the
fact that God could prosper my journey through the winning of souls or the
encouragement of the church made my soul rejoice. Some might say I’m making the
word fit the circumstances. I don’t believe that because the last thing I want
to be is out of the will of God. I will say that my circumstances fit into the
When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, he’d never met them.
They were a group of believers that left Peter’s conference, also known as “Pentecost”
and went back to their country and got busy planting churches and spreading the
gospel. Paul had hopes and dreams of meeting those he’d heard about, and encouraging
them in their faith.
He wanted to impart to them some spiritual gift! Me too! He wanted
to comfort them! Me too! The work of the ministry is a struggle. It’s worth
every bit of it, but there are days it’s not easy to go on. I spend much of my
time encouraging believers and ministries by offering them my help using the
gifts I’ve been given in music, graphic arts and speaking.
My desire is to do that more and more and travel anywhere the Lord
leads. Like New Mexico.
The price on that ticket stub is the cost today of the ticket
only, there are other expenses as well. It may go up as time goes by. I’m also not
going alone, I plan to go with my bestie Glo, who’s been a part of my ministry
from the beginning. If you’d like to contribute, that would be more than
awesome and more than appreciated. You can contribute through the Paypal button
below, or contact me directly.
If you’d like to be a part of the Jesus Chick Ministry, by prayer, financial or you’d like to know more about what I do through out the week, message me, I’m an open book! It’s the gospel.
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ